Dear IHP Community,

Today, as we celebrate and honor the life and many contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I am reminded that through his activism, we have come so far in this country in addressing issues of racism and oppression.

As I reflect on our society today, I recognize that we have so much further to go in making our world one that Dr. King articulated in his “I have a Dream” speech. From 1954 to the time of his murder in 1968, Dr. King fought for the civil and economic rights for all people of color, dreamed of a world where everyone is treated with fairness and compassion, and believed in the goodness of people. 

Over the last several months, we have seen the antithesis of the world Dr. King envisioned. We have seen the pain of war and the impact on those thousands of miles away who mourn for families and loved ones. We have seen the division that has stoked the social unrest we experience today in our country and throughout the world. Dr. King believed in building bridges of understanding that will help to reduce the distance between people. On this day of reflection, let all of us stand in support of our colleagues who are experiencing pain and bring the courage, conviction and action that is needed to make positive change in our communities. 

In the spirit of supporting positive change, the JEDI Office is sponsoring the E. Lorraine Baugh Lecture on February 26 from 12:00 - 1:15 p.m., featuring Dr. John S. Wilson who will present “Democratic Education: How education serves to meet the needs of the public.” Please plan to join this important lecture either in person at 1 CW, Room 165 or by Zoom. You can register here

As we face the challenges of our everyday life in our world where we see divisiveness and incivility more than we care to, I encourage you to reflect on the many writings and speeches of Dr. King. His spirit inspires us to stand up against injustice and work towards a future where diversity is celebrated and embraced. Dr. King once said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” I shared that quote with you last year and I am sharing it again because I believe in the power of hope and the principle that what we do today will impact our world in the future. If we each sow the seeds of justice, equity, hope, and compassion, we will build communities based on these values.  

This is a time to reflect on our contributions to the promotion of social justice and anti-oppression and recommit ourselves to the equity for all.